It's the same every year.
Each October catches me by surprise. Another year has passed and it's time for our pictures again.
Fall pictures. In these two, old, adult-sized jackets.
Our answer to school photos or a trip to the portrait studio, this is how we mark time.
It's a tradition we started when Sage was one and so far we havn't missed a year. (Though once we took them in November the day before the first snow.)
Every year we pull these jackets out of the back of the closet and we laugh as the kids try them on once more.
Nope, still too big.
But not for long.
And every year I wonder if the kids look any different than they did last October. They can't possibly. But of course they do.
I guess I can't see them growing until I see them frozen in time in these photos.
And there it is. Bigness. And every year it catches me by surprise.
This year especially.
This year I see adult faces hidden inside these smiles.
Because my boy is twelve today but tomorrow he'll be twenty.
And I wonder what it will feel like when these jackets fit.
Already a dozen photos of Sage wearing his papas coat, slowly filling the space within.
And some soon October the tradition will be complete.
The jackets will stay in the closet, the photos on our wall.
I will smile and remember and ache a bit for days long passed.
My babies will have grown and fledged and flown.
Their path, their journey, their adventures unfolding.
And I will delight in them writing their stories, but also in the days when they choose to circle back home.
But today at least these jackets are still just a bit too big.
And for that I am so grateful.
Below are our photos from 2009 to today. (The others were shot on film and await scanning.)